The plants pictured are exactly 11mos old, sown last May as a natural mole repellent. As you can see, they grew very tall, very FAST!
If you live between zones 5-8 and plant your seeds in early May, R.communis will reach 6-8′ tall by the end of growing season. You can direct sow it as an annual, or germinate it in a container to bring indoors when the temperature drops. Note: When planting, hold the seeds flat and push 1/2″ below the soil surface–anything deeper hinders germination. The first true leaves appear within 7-10days, and you’ll love watching them mature from deep maroon to burnished green; a few months later, quirky monoecious flowers lend texture and tropical appeal to any setting.
As the scarlet seed heads ripen, they turn dark and spiky, eventually exposing three shiny brown seeds. In the next photo you’ll notice one seed head already open and the rest not far behind.
At this point, I feel duty bound to print the disclaimer from the seed packet: Eating castor oil seeds may be fatal. This plant is not recommended if you have small children, especially if they naturally put things into their mouths.
If anyone wants a bunch of seeds, send your postal address along via this comment form. Within a few weeks you’ll have little plants that look like these:
Until next time…..
🙂 🙂 🙂